Why your workspace data needs to be telling you the WHOLE truth

If your job is to look after buildings, then there’s never been a more critical time to be told the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And when we say “truth”, we’re talking about comprehensive workspace data. In other words, real-time intelligence that tells you how your building occupants are really working on a day-to-day basis. If you don’t have any occupancy analytics today, then now is the time to consider making that investment.

Thanks to advances in technology, occupancy analytics can pave the way for better and more informed decision-making, about how workspaces should be utilised and optimised.

Occupancy analytics can tell you things like:

  • How many people are in your office at any one time
  • Which desks they’re booking and using – and for how long
  • Where meetings are taking place most and the actual meeting time compared to the booked duration
  • WHO is booking and using what space, when, and for how long 
  • What preferences they have, in what spaces. For example technology, temperature, and lighting choices

Meeting room occupancy analytics and transforming the employee experience

Many organisations have sensors that detect movement, identifying how many people have occupied a particular workspace – be that a meeting room, or a floor. 

But, integrating Bluetooth location services into a smart lighting sensor network, it’s possible to know who is in that meeting room, or who is on that floor. 

This helps to streamline the functionality of workspaces, and eliminates the number of assumptions and guesstimates that facilities managers often have to make about their buildings.

In addition to providing enhanced occupancy analytics for the facilities manager, it also makes for a truly personalised experience for building users.

Meeting room occupancy analytics and transforming the employee experience

Reviewing meeting room utilisation and availability is a critical task for the facilities manager. Most organisations use a meeting room booking system of some sort.

Those using smart lighting sensors can ascertain if a meeting room is occupied through detecting movement in a room. Somebody’s walked in, so the meeting must be active.

This type of system isn’t sophisticated enough to figure out if the person who’s walked into the room is the person who’s meant to be in the room. 

Some systems ask occupants to physically ‘check-in’ – by touching a screen – confirming that the delegates have arrived and the meeting has started, so nobody else can book the room. But when people forget to ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ – as they often do – other building users then make assumptions about the room’s availability and occupancy analytics reports fail to reflect what’s really happened. 

However, when you integrate Bluetooth location services into the smart lighting sensor network, it’s a whole different experience. This combination of technology recognises that the person who’s booked the meeting room, has walked into the space, automatically starts the meeting and marks the room as occupied. 

If that same person were to leave the meeting early, the smart lighting sensors in the room would kick in, realising that there were people still in the meeting. If the meeting finished early, and everybody vacated the room, the room would be released to somebody else to book and use.

The benefits of this fusion

This fusion of technology gives facilities managers useful occupancy analytics that provides a more accurate view of how each meeting room is used. 

It is also possible to spot trends in preferences. This is because room-specific information can be delivered to meeting delegates via their mobile devices – allowing them to control the temperature and lighting in a room ­– and advise on the operation of room-specific devices efficiently. 

The technology can also facilitate the delivery of real-time alerts, that can be sent to specific building users mobile devices to enhance the occupant experience. For example, when there’s a fire alarm test, or when too many people have entered a meeting room, and are therefore breaching social distancing measures.

Revolutionising desk space utilisation

Desk-based sensors offer facilities managers another piece of the data jigsaw. 

Accompanying a smart lighting sensor in the ceiling that detects movement, sensors can be placed under desks, to determine a more accurate view of when desks usage and when they’re available. This also facilitates a more agile, desk booking system where desks cannot get booked up by people who don’t use them.

In an environment where we have Covid-19 guidelines on office procedures, this type of intelligence allows building managers to limit how many desks can be used in one space – negating the need for makeshift signs, posters, and plastic screens.

Why this intelligence is needed now

The burning platform for better occupancy analytics isn’t just coronavirus. Although, it will absolutely help managers to: adhere to Covid-19 guidelines more easily; help shape strategies to bring workers back to the office; and inform decisions about property rationalisation. All these are real and current concerns for building managers everywhere.

But, there are other factors at play too – all of which occupancy analytics can help to deliver. For example:

  • Identifying further cost efficiencies of the building.
  • Assisting organisations to reach carbon neutrality targets.
  • Improving the employee experience to engage and retain staff. 

There are advantages for commercial landlords too – who can re-sell this technology and the insight it provides, to prospective tenants. Or at the very least, use it to increase rental charges, or give their property portfolio a more competitive edge.

In summary then

  • Technology advances mean that facilities managers have access to rich occupancy analytics to inform better decision-making.
  • The integration of Bluetooth location services into a network of smart sensors gives facilities managers visibility of who is doing what within their building.
  • This not only makes the building user experience a better one, it means there’s less guesswork for the facilities manager, in trying to determine how their building is being utilised.
  • Sensors placed under desks can also help facilities managers to better allocate desk space to building occupants.
  • This intelligence (in the form of occupancy analytics) is needed now – not just because of Covid-19 – but because of the array of responsibilities organisations must fulfil.

About Scenariio

Scenariio specialises in the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to optimise productivity in your workspace and the underpinning infrastructure required to deploy those technologies effectively.

We’re preferred and trusted advisors in the design, supply, and installation of data networks. Our company ethos is caring for our customer’s needs by providing leading products and high-quality service, through integrity and innovation ­– all delivered by a professional, experienced, and dependable, nationwide team.

Our mission is to make your business more intelligent. The team is passionate about enabling you to understand the advantages of a smart workspace, from sensor-rich networks delivered over structured cabling, to capitalising on the latest developments in the IoT. We aim to improve the way your organisation connects with technology to achieve responsive results, more efficient systems and, ultimately, business growth.

At Scenariio, we deliver smarter solutions for smarter buildings.

George Pritchard
gp@scenariio.com
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